Pink and Burgundy

IMG_0733IMG_0726IMG_0737I had a touch of the Debbie Bliss yarn left over in Cashmere and Merino wool in a deep burgandy, so I thought I’d whip up a bear with it. I still have the two bears from my last post about my trip to the Black Sheep here in Orlando. I was able to grab some really nice yarn from James C. Brett.

Its rent day, so I need to get these little guys adopted today so I can head over to my landlord’s. So, if you’d like to adopt one of these bears, just click on the photo of the one you’d like. The two brown ones are made of acrylic and quite a bit bigger than my usual bears. And the pink and burgundy bear is about the usual size of my other bears, but with a mix of the Debbie Bliss and Lionbrand’s wool ease.

Snag em!

They’re all ready to ship with a signed card from me :)

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Three Boutique Bears

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So, I finally made my way to the boutique yarn shop up on Mills. I’ve been wanting to go to to The Black Sheep for a good while now, but never seemed to have the time and certainly not the money. Local yarn stores can be a bit pricey, we all know this, but that’s because the quality of the yarn is usually exceptional. A friend of mine offered to buy a skein of yarn and I jumped at the chance. “Hell yeah! Let’s go!” He caught a pic of me on the floor of the store, just admiring all the different yarns. I really liked the store. I look forward to going back. Especially when they have their open knitting nights.

While I was there I was able to snag some yarn……dang it. I can’t remember the name of the yarn. You would have thought I kept the label so I could talk about how it worked up in my hands, what it felt like and all that stuff, right? Nope. I stupidly threw the label away. All I remember is that it was from the UK and was a man’s name. Yep. That’s it. It was a fair enough yarn. Reminded me of Lionbrand’s Homespun. Lovely stuff to work with, very soft and pliant, but the bulkier weighted yarns always cramp up my hands. So, that was the only drawback. My hands were in a lot of pain. Would I work with that yarn again? Hard to say. I like the way the yarn felt, just didn’t like how my hands felt.

My friend snagged another pic, a rather nice one, of me working up some bears, with Mario perched on my lap. The whole set up is rare. Mario doesn’t care too much for people, and tends to hide when she hears a stranger’s voice come around. Nope, that day she claimed me, sat on my lap and demanded he take a picture of her “good side.” Notice I haven’t shaved in about a week? I’ve been busy trying to get all of those older orders finished by the end of September. But, with rent coming up, I needed some new bears to adopt out. So, these are the three bears that I worked up with that skein from England. They’re much bigger than my usual bears because of the bulkier weight. The yarn is made of acrylic, but its a nicer acrylic, in no way rough. These are definitely one of a kind because of the nature of the gradient in the yarn. Notice how their faces are all different. Oh! And notice how the one bear has smaller ears than the others? Ran out of yarn JUST at that moment, so I had to improvise. They’re all ready to ship with a signed card by me. Just click on the picture of the bear you’d like to adopt.

Ya’ll have a great Sunday! I gotta get back to work!

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Seeing Red

IMG_0722Good morning! It’s about 7am, was busy last night working up another bear in red. I have so much of that yarn left, so I thought I’d give it another shot. And besides, I only sold 8 copies of my pattern yesterday. (YIKES!!!!) So, its back to good old fashioned knitting, eh? The last red bear was a hit, so I’ve whipped up another. He’s made with Galloway’s 100 percent wool, measures a little bit smaller than my usual bear, and is ready to ship with a signed card by me.

Sorry about the weird lighting! And ignore my sheets!

If you’d like to adopt him, click here.

And have a great Sunday!

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I Wanna See More Bears in the World

IMG_0558DSC_1215DSCF3784_medium2IMG_0522IMG_0350So, while I’m busy working up my bears, my past orders, I really would love to see more bears put out there, more bears made as gifts moving their way through the world, spreading smiles, giving joy. So, I’ve dropped the price of my patterns down to $2 so that they can be easily affordable to anyone. But, that’s just for now. I’m working on a book of patterns I hope to have ready in October, then the patterns will probably go back up. I hate doing that. I hate talking like that, but there you have it. An income must be made, an income must be considered.

If you already have the pattern, or if you don’t know how to knit, share it with someone. It’s an easy enough bear, or rabbit, or tiger, that can be completed in a day. Easily! And don’t forget, there are video tutorials on my video page to help with embroidering the face, and assembling the bear. This actually means a lot to me. The less bears I have to make “for sale” allows me to focus more on bears that were already ordered. So, I can’t thank you enough for buying my pattern, or sharing it with someone that might like it. And thanks for all the awesome comments about my last post, “Called to Serve.” If I could speak as I write, I’d do more video blogs, but as of now, my video blogs would DSC_1280be only me talking about how we should all go boil some peanuts and play croquet.

Ok, getting back to work. Knitting while watching the “Alien” series. Damn! Female heroines kick ass.

Hope ya’ll are having a great weekend.

If you’d like to buy my patterns, click here.

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Called to Serve

I was knitting a short while ago. Surprise! Yes, if you know my schedule, up at about 6am, make coffee, grab needles, go. I often listen to the radio while I’m knitting, no matter where I am. Sometimes music, sometimes talk radio. A short while ago, I heard the press conference of Dr. Kent Brantly, the doctor with Samaritan’s Purse who contracted Ebola and was now being released from the hospital, clean and cured. But, there was something he said in his press conference that caused me to sit back, put the needles down, and reflect. He said, and I’m paraphrasing mind you, that he and his family had moved to Liberia for a two years stint because they were called by God to serve and at the time Ebola was not on the radar.

And I kept doing my best to connect with that idea, “….called to serve.” But, my first thoughts were not quite like you might think. My first ideas were actually the idea of hearing sighs and groans of people country wide who might have thought, “Another one of those……you know, Christians.” And they roll their eyes. I couldn’t help it. I’ve seen reactions like that. I’ve witnessed people dismiss someone because they mention in the public forum their dutiful need to serve God.

And in cases like this I am obliged to reflect and mention that at any moment you see injustice in the world, and you are affected, and you have a monumental desire to DO something about it, then that is a privileged that many are not usually empowered with; that perhaps God, the Universe, the Light, whatever you want to call it, directed its intentions upon YOU and YOU felt something gnawing inside you that demanded YOU do something to correct it. Blessings move through our hearts and yields itself through our actions on a daily basis. Being called to serve can last a lifetime, or can last but a split second. Being called to serve can be as grand as finding your life uprooted and dropped into a disease ridden group of people who need your talents to give them life, or being called to serve can be as simple as the tender touch of your hand on the shoulder of someone in need of affection. Being called to serve is the instantaneous reaction to a need within to bring good to a bad in the world, being called to serve is being aware of pain, suffering, heartache, injustice, and being pulled by an incredible desire for which you cannot stray from that forces you to put into action what your heart pains over. That is being called to serve.

So, whatever complexity you find your faith, or if you have none at all, you are part of the human collective, and our strange humanity is bound by emotions driven by instinct. We feel because we are inclined to. We feel pain for another, because we are empathetic. It is in our nature to be good towards each other. Anything else is neither Godly, nor human.

We feel inspired to help because we are a collective, knowing that the worst of our pains and sufferings can never go unnoticed, for they affect all of us on emotional levels, on spiritual levels. And perhaps that is mother nature’s way, God’s way, of reminding us that if it at once it could happen to some, so it could happen to all of you. So, we hope, we work, we help each other, we do what we can when inspired to help those, as an instinctual reminder that humans are communal. What could happen to one of us, could happen to any of us…..to all of us.

The young doctor was called to move his family to Liberia to help those in need……he was called. And the poor man was afflicted with a terrifying illness that kills many…..and found himself in need of our help, our prayers. And then we were called to hope for him, pray for him, and for his cause!

Being called to serve, despite your spiritual views, is more a communal, human idea than many of us might think. It’s an insurance, that no one in need of anything, from cures, to food, to shelter, to a tender touch, should feel alone. For our connection to each other, to something greater, reminds us that if one of us goes down, so we all go.

So when someone shouts, “We are one!” Remind them, THAT is the idea. If one goes down, we all go. Not just one color, nor one race, nor one country but all of humanity suffers when those in need are left alone….when your desire to do something about pain and fear, when you refuse the call to serve is ignored. We don’t pick up sides of a situation, we pick up each other.

Again, being called to serve can last a lifetime, or a split second. Each equally powerful in its remembrance of our connection to each other and the Divine.

I’m picking up my needles now. Gonna get back to work. We are all called in our own distinct ways to serve.

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Peace!

 

 

 

Why Not Red?

IMG_0717I’ve taken a few days away from the internet. I do that every now and then. You have to do that. I know it’s hard for the world to imagine, but its a necessity. My work, my livelihood, my pleasure, all come from this little laptop, and sometimes you have to fold it up, put it away and connect back to real life. I’ve been working up my orders and still determined to have them all finished within the next 6 weeks. *Fingers crossed. But, I still have to get some bears sold before the end of the month.

I’ve been spending my knitting time outside for as long as possible. This week is probably the hottest of the year, usually. Sure enough, it was a heat index of 105 degrees today, so I’ve started stepping inside to get my work done. :) So, anywhere from 7am to 10am, I’m able to spend outside, and then head back out after 8pm for another hour or two before heading to bed.

I was working up an order for Benita, who actually sent me quite a bit of red in order for me to complete a red bear for her. There was so much red left over that I decided to whip another one up to sell. And why not red? He’s made from Galloway’s 100% wool in a striking red. A very BOLD red. He’s a touch smaller than my usual bears, only about 10″ inches high. He’s ready to shop with a signed card by me. So, if you’d like to adopt him, click here.

I guess I feel I want to say alot more, but not this evening. Hopefully, this little guy will be adopted tonight, and I can pull off my boots, crawl up with a pillow and Mario, grab a bowl of popcorn and watch a little “Murder, She Wrote.”

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If you appreciate my writing and you’d like for this blog to continue, please support! This blog survives because of you!

Peace!

Intention

So, I received four donations to help me get ahead and I’m so very grateful for that. But, I’m still going to have to push out an extra 20 bears by the end of the month to make this work. I’m looking at my stash, wondering how clever, how creative I can make these 20 bears. But, I am determined to finish up all my past orders within the next 6 weeks.

I think I’ve been a touch bitchy towards Kara. She gets me, though. She understands. We’ve been friends for nearly 20 years. We can speak to each other in ways you can’t to some people.

She’ll hand me a stack of bodies she knit and I look at them and go, “They’re not good enough. They’re too big. Some of the stitches are wider than others. You have to do them over.” And she’ll laugh and give me that LOOK and I’ll just have to say, “They have to be right, every single time. These people paid really good money for these bears and they have to be perfect. Consistent. Every single time.” And then she forgives me because she understands the intention. We can’t fool around with these bears and send them out with one leg shorter than an other. Or the body three times larger than the head. Can’t be done. They have to look perfect, every single time. Because these bears represent hope, joy, struggles that leave darkness behind. Struggles that embrace the light. And to be truthful? Those concepts are perfect. So that bear had BETTER be perfect. It can’t feel, or look, or be embraced by anything other than hope, joy. And she forgives me, because she knows the intention behind what I’m doing. My mission statement.

I’ve been asked what I wanted to do with this teddy bear idea of mine and I’ve always said, time and time again, that the end result is philanthropy. That first teddy bear I knit up saved me from starvation and homelessness. And that same teddy bear needs to do the same for others. At some point, my intention is to live a simple, meager life, financially secure and sound, and spend the rest of my days (God willing, a lot of them!) doing for others. That teddy bear needs to be the proof of good intention. That he will someday feed others, that he will house others. That is my intention. To take care of others in the same way all of you have taken care of me. That teddy bear saved me, because you saw the intention in it. You KNEW what I was doing with that bear.

But, that concept cannot be approached until these older orders are finished and sent on their way. I’ll ever get there if these older orders don’t get to their homes.

Because every bear that goes out is a reminder to their recipient, that a little guy in Orlando with nothing more than a set of knitting needles, intends to do good by the world. One bear at a time. And I need your help to do that.

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The Simple, Classic Teddy Bear

IMG_0715This bear was made from the last of some wonderful virgin wool from New Zealand. I had made a brown bear out of it a few weeks back and now I took a turn at this lovely sandy color. Great looking bear. Because the yarn is a heavier weight, the needles to make him up were bigger, so he ended up being plumper and bigger than my usual bears. This is a great bear for cuddle time. Just my opinion. Plump and doesn’t mind a squeeze. He’s ready to ship with a signed card by me. Of the two I made, only one is left. The first has found a home in Alberta, Canada. Nice!

Click here if you’d like to adopt him.

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Weathering the Wait

I’m glad everyone loved the vintage bear so much. And thanks so much for the heads up on hearing about it being from a company that closed in the 50’s. THAT is awesome! TRULY awesome that I was blessed enough to have it worked through my fingers. As if destiny said, “Here, little man. Have something  truly genuine to create.” It was a good feeling.

However, with every bear I’ve been able to work up, I still continue to get angry emails wondering just how much longer they are going to have to wait for their bears. I can’t apologize enough for the delays. I really can’t. I’m doing my best, I really am, and I don’t want anyone to think that I am purposely putting people off because I’m not interested. Of course not.

My system right now is pretty simple. I work up three bears a day. Two that were previously ordered, then one to sell so that I can pay the bills. With it being the middle of the month I’m already thinking forward to next month. I’ll need to work up and sell about 20 bears to make sure next month is paid for. But, to be truthful, I honestly think I can only do 6 or 7 ready to sell bears. For every angry email I get, I drop whatever bear I’m working on to begin working on an older made to order bear from months ago.

With some help, I honestly think I can have all of my previous orders finished up within the next weeks. I have Kara and Carlos now helping me and I honestly think if I’m not making up 20 ready to sell bears, I could finish up my older orders within the next 6 weeks. That would get me to the beginning of October, which would give me a fresh and clean slate for working up ready to sell bears for Christmas. Being ready to sell bears for Christmas would be an awesome achievement for me, financially. We’re doing so good now, but I fear the more charge backs I get to my account, the more inclined the bank or paypal is willing to just cut me loose. So, I think its in my best interest to really focus on my older orders, get everyone taken care of, and finally, freely move forward without worry. And any amount helps out. Someone once donated enough for a cup of coffee to my next trip to Starbucks to knit. I thought that was awfully sweet and kind. So, anything helps out at all. Anything.

If you did order a bear from me months ago and are reading this, please accept my sincerest apologies for the delay. Many of you have been so understanding and kind and even helpful. So, to those of you that are angry with me, I do beg your apology, I understand your anger, and I am trying everything in my power to make this all right by you. Not just for your orders in the past, but that the arrival of that little bear and his little pout will bring a feeling of warmth and smile to your face and the wait will have been worth it.

You already know you’re all in my heart and in my thoughts.

I really do need some help.

Much love and hope,

Gregory

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Vintage Bear

IMG_0709 IMG_0711So, as many of you know, Kara deals in vintage clothing. While on one of her many hunts, she came across two skeins of some vintage yarn. Now, look at that label. I’m thinking its from at least the late 60’s, early 70’s. You rarely find vintage yarn still wound up with label attached. Wow! I naturally HAD to work up a bear with it. I loved this! Imagine….a brand new life given to 40 or 50 year old yarn. And he even LOOKS vintage. The yarn was made of 100% virgin wool, but still tender to the touch. If you’d like to adopt him, click here. He’s ready to ship with a signed card by me. This one TRULY is a one of a kind. I can’t imagine ever finding this yarn ever again. Hopefully, he’ll be adopted today. Soon!

oh! And Kara said she’d offer anyone from my blog a 20% discount on her vintage clothing in her etsy shop if you use the code KNITBEAR. It’s a good day!

If you’d like to buy my patterns, click here.

If you appreciate my writing and you’d like for this blog to continue, please support! This blog survives because of you!

I urge you to donate. Donations go towards rent and food and keeping this blog alive!